Flowering time and transcriptome variation in Capsella bursa-pastoris (Brassicaceae)

Authors

  • Hui-Run Huang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Peng-Cheng Yan,

    1. MOE Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering and College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Martin Lascoux,

    1. Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
    2. Laboratory of Evolutionary Genomics, CAS Key Laboratory of Computational Biology, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xue-Jun Ge

    1. Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
    Search for more papers by this author

Author for correspondence:
Xue-Jun Ge
Tel: +86 20 3725 2551
Email: xjge@scbg.ac.cn

Summary

  • Flowering is a major developmental transition and its timing in relation to environmental conditions is of crucial importance to plant fitness. Understanding the genetic basis of flowering time variation is important to determining how plants adapt locally.
  • Here, we investigated flowering time variation of Capsella bursa-pastoris collected from different latitudes in China. We also used a digital gene expression (DGE) system to generate partial gene expression profiles for 12 selected samples.
  • We found that flowering time was highly variable and most strongly correlated with day length and winter temperature. Significant differences in gene expression between early- and late-flowering samples were detected for 72 candidate genes for flowering time. Genes related to circadian rhythms were significantly overrepresented among the differentially expressed genes.
  • Our data suggest that circadian rhythms and circadian clock genes play an important role in the evolution of flowering time, and C. bursa-pastoris plants exhibit expression differences for candidate genes likely to affect flowering time across the broad range of environments they face in China.

Ancillary